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Something Stronger: Truth-telling on hurt and loss, strength and healing, from First Nations people with disability research report

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Something stronger in First Nations language

Research report (Auslan) Something Stronger

 

Research report: Something Stronger: Truth-telling on hurt and loss, strength and healing, from First Nations people with disability

The Disability Royal Commission has published research called ‘Something Stronger: Truth-telling on hurt and loss, strength and healing from First Nations people with disability.’

The research was done by Dr Scott Avery, a proud Worimi man who is profoundly deaf.

The research is based on the experiences of 47 First Nations people with disability.

The paper looks at:

  • how First Nations people with disability talk about their experience of violence and abuse
  • how First Nations people with disability talk about empowerment, self-determination, inclusion and belonging.

In the report Dr Avery says First Nations people with disability are:

  • less likely to discuss violence and abuse with people outside their community because their experiences are too ‘raw’ to talk about
  • more likely to tell their experience of violence and trauma if they feel people will believe them and what they say matters.

People who did talk about violence said:

  • most violence happens lots of times
  • other people in their community had similar experiences.

Dr Avery found that things like inequality and discrimination impacts the health and wellbeing of First Nations People with disability. This can lead to First Nations people being isolated from their community. Being isolated then increases their chance of experiencing more violence. Dr Avery said this is not the ‘First Nations way’.

How did First Nations people talk about their experience of violence?

  • as being hit
  • as an emotional loss

Some people didn’t talk about violence directly.

Dr Avery found that First Nations people with disability did not use words like ‘empowerment’ or ‘sovereignty’. They used language that focused on survival, strength and getting through each day.

Some people were hopeful about the future and talked about using their voice to help others.

Dr Avery said the strength and hope of First Nations people with disability are important in the story of violence in the community.

This suggests the story is moving from trauma to healing. This will lead to a stronger, more connected and more inclusive First Nations disability community.

First Nations people with disability draw on the strength of their cultures and communities to find hope, strength and healing.

You can read the full report on our website. Take a look in the ‘Policy and research’ section.

www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au